Hey everyone! I’m back with another paranormal thriller/horror review and today, it’s for The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino! I am participating in a bookstagram tour with Turn the Page Tours for this book, so be sure to check out my post there.
And thank you to Turn the Page Tours and Page Street Kids for providing me with an ARC. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino
Published: August 10, 2021
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.
Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library’s grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.
The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot’s face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her… and he’ll have her, dead or alive.
At first, I wasn’t sure what this book was about. It was a long introduction to the characters and setting up the book. The plot didn’t even start to almost halfway through, when they finally went down and found the demonic book. Once we actually get into the plot of the book, it takes its sweet time building up. Honestly, it wasn’t until the last 100-150 pages that there was serious action and momentum in the book.
This book isn’t a fast paced fantasy. This isn’t one that’s going to scoop you up and thrust you into an adventure. This is a slow, methodical book that drifts you through like a lazy river, until it throws you off a waterfall that you weren’t even sure was coming.
I liked this book. Sometimes I like slow paced books that take their time to build up. The curiosity and anticipation makes the action and the reveals that much better. I will say though, the ending to this book, the very last line, sent my rating over the edge. Throughout, I was sitting around 3 – 3.5 stars. It was a good book, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t have that gusto that I usually like in a paranormal, fantasy thriller. Until the ending.
No spoilers, but even I didn’t see that coming and I’m curious to know – what happens next?
While the ending was fantastic, the beginning was a bit rough. Both Tess and Eliot aren’t likeable characters, in their own ways. Tess is, to put it bluntly, annoying to read in the beginning. Her only focus in life is to play the cello and keep her sister in the prestigious school she gave up her dream to help her get into. And that’s all to her personality. Cello and her sister. Eliot, on the other hand, is a bit stuck up at first. He doesn’t want to be in America, he wants to stay with his mom, and while we find out it’s because she’s dying from a brain tumor, at first he just sounds like a jerk!
It wasn’t until the story started really progressing, and we kept finding out more about these characters, that they started becoming likeable. But at first, I was not into the two POVs and was just curious about the book plot line and what was going to happen.
Basically, if you don’t like it in the beginning, keep going, give it a real chance, and you might end up loving it!
Overall, this book was good and the ending is what made it great. Tess and Eliot slowly grow on you as characters, especially Eliot, and the terrifying images from this book were hard to stomach at times. It gets a bit gruesome. Like, I scared my cat gasping and “ew”-ing at one point because there are some nasty scenes. But, if you like paranormal thriller/horror books – then this one is a great read and I hope there’s a book two!
If you like paranormal horror, check out The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass or Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers!